Hospital experts shortlisted for awards

Two leading medical experts and a technology team from Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust (NUH) have been shortlisted for national awards.

Dr John Walsh and Professor Opinder Sahota are both finalists in the Health Service Journal Awards 2012 in the ‘Clinical Leader of the Year’ category.

The Trust’s Hospital@Night team has also been shortlisted in the category ‘Improving Care with Technology’.

Dr Walsh, a Cardiology Consultant, was shortlisted for his leadership in the Productive Heart Service project as part of the NUH ‘Better for You’ whole hospital change programme. The project has improved how the cardiology team organises tests and schedules patients, which has reduced waiting times, improved efficiency and saved money.

These outcomes were achieved with full engagement of staff at every level of the service. Dr Walsh’s tireless good humour and visible commitment have resulted in interest and visits from both national and international hospitals.

Dr Walsh said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been nominated for this award which is a reflection of the huge amount of work and effort within NUH Heart Services.

“The Better for You programme provided a vehicle for people from all disciplines to come forward with ideas and then implement service change. The initial results are extremely promising but the new challenge is now maintaining them. Leadership was easy given the fantastic staff I was working with; anyone else in my shoes with this group of colleagues would have achieved the same.”

Prof Sahota, Consultant in Orthogeriatric Medicine at NUH, was shortlisted for his work in the development and delivery of innovative services for the care of fragility fracture patients. This includes the Orthogeriatric Service, which provides joint medical and orthopaedic care for elderly hip fracture patients, the spinal osteoporosis and the fracture liaison service.

The Interdisciplinary Peer Review Scheme of Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Disease Services in the UK highlighted these services as forward thinking with excellent outcomes.

He has developed a track record of commitment towards assuring the quality and safety of patient care, working uniquely across specialities and the boundaries between primary and secondary care, valuing partners and partnership working.

Prof Sahota said: “I am delighted and very humbled to be nominated for the award; these are the efforts of many, not just one. It is nice to see the work we have done at NUH recognised nationally, and the challenge remains to improve the care of fragility fracture patients across the country.”

The Hospital@Night project is an intelligent IT system, called Nervecentre, which co-ordinates hospital care at night, weekends and bank holidays.

The time between 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday, constitutes only one quarter of the year. Outside this time, hospital services are delivered by a smaller number of staff. Co-ordination and communication between the wards and team members is essential.

A team from NUH worked with industrial partners and academic researchers to successfully introduce a wireless communication system active across ward desktop PCs, a tablet PC held by the Hospital@Night co-ordinator and mobile phones held by junior doctors. The system has led to major improvements in patient safety, cost, staff satisfaction and efficiency. Following this success, several Trusts elsewhere in the UK have adopted the technology which continues to be developed and extended at NUH.

Dr John Blakey, Clinical Lecturer, said: “The design, implementation and continued development of this innovative solution is a result of the hard work and vision of a large multidisciplinary team. It is tremendous to see NHS staff, academics from various disciplines and commercial partners looking beyond traditional barriers to tangibly improve patient care.”

Hospital@Night also won a British Medical Journal Improving Health Award in May.

The winners of the HSJ Awards 2012 will be announced on 20 November at the Grosvenor House Hotel in London.